One of the things I've always admired about the military is that when the president changes, they take down the old portrait, hang up the new one, and get on with the job. I recall saying almost those exact words to a technician working with/for me just after the inauguration in '09. I will salute the new guy, and get on with life.
— Stephen Decatur
Elections have consequences. Obama won the Presidency. He is our President. Not saying that this shouldn't be an issue in the 2012 campaign. Sure it should be.
But until then America needs to support the President and this policy. EVEN IF IT IS WRONG!
To do less makes one a traitor!
But is this correct? Are we under no obligation other than "our country, right or wrong"? Does all politics stop at the water's edge? It was only a few years ago, under W Bush, that the left was saying "dissent is the highest form of patriotism". Hillary Clinton famously gave a talk where she said just that in those legendary dulcet tones of hers...
Today, of course, dissent is treasonous. I am not putting words into my commenter's mouth (or keyboard, as the case may be) and implying they're saying anyone who protests the administration is a traitor. For all I know this person is to the right of Genghis, or even Sylvia, Kahn (obscure reference!) and believes the only proper response is to wait for the next election.
Perhaps the best illustration of how differently dissent is handled is how virtually identical political images of W and Obama were reacted to so completely differently. In this image, the one on top was in Atlantic magazine and praised as brilliant, while the one on the bottom was condemned with every level of vitriol imaginable.
An analogy: I've worked for my current employer for 15 years. Over those years, I think I've demonstrated my loyalty to them. But we make safety critical systems, where a bad design decision that gets out in a product could kill hundreds of people at a time, and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. What if I see the project leaders making a decision that my years of experience says is dangerously stupid? I have an ethical, moral and legal duty that exceeds loyalty to the company and I need to point out the mistake. Let's take it farther: let's say I tell them they're doing something that can get people killed and the leader ignores me. What then? What if I go through every level in the company and nothing gets changed? If I'm convinced by my analysis that they are doing the wrong thing, and the company will do nothing about it, I am obligated to either accept it (that is, be complicit) or leave. Love it or leave it.
To drive home the point, it's the same thing with our nation. I think it's our duty, when we see the servants we elect to do our work do that work in a patently stupid and potentially deadly way, we have an obligation to point out the mistake. You can rest assured that my ramblings do not end here, when I believe bad policy decisions are being made. Unlike my employer, the option to leave is not really there.
In the wake of the police raid that took blogger TJIC off the net, I wrote:
The founding fathers, after all, were in armed rebellion against the legal government they were living under, right? They were British citizens shooting British citizens. Unless you are of the belief that no system of government is ever so oppressive or so tyrannical as to need to be overthrown, you must agree thatThe word patriot has the Latin root patria - country or "fatherland". The modern definition is "one who loves and zealously supports and defends his or her country". The modern patriot movement may well love, and zealously support a country that doesn't exist anymore. In the words of this famous video, "This is America! - It Ain't no more".
(TJIC's) is not an unreasonable opinion.(emphasis added this time - GB)
Edit 2125 Inadvertently used an HTML tag in the quote and words disappeared!